Christian Living Articles

If Life Ends at Death, Then Eat, Drink, and Be Merry, for Tomorrow We Die

By Adam Lloyd Johnson, Ph.D.

The book of Ecclesiastes is notoriously difficult to interpret. In this article I share my best attempt at understanding and explaining what this book is about. Many have argued that the main message of Ecclesiastes is that we shouldn’t look for meaning and purpose in this world or in this mortal life. While that might be a valid application of the truths found in Ecclesiastes, I don’t think that is its primary message. It seems to me that the main purpose of Ecclesiastes is to teach the following conditional: If life ends at death, then life, and the toil of this life, is vanity because it’s fleeting, futile, meaningless, and absurd.

What is the Meaning of Life?

By Adam Lloyd Johnson, Ph.D.

Ancient philosophy began when people started thinking about ultimate reality. These early philosophers proposed theories about the ultimate elemental stuff which everything else comes from or is made of. Some of the early theories were earth, air, fire, or water. One ancient philosopher, Democritus, even suggested that everything is made up of tiny particles he called atoms. However, if Christianity is true, and I believe it is, then when the final curtain of reality is pulled back, we won’t find earth, air, fire, water, or atoms. Instead, we’ll find loving relationships between three divine persons. Ultimate reality, from which everything else comes, is a God which exists as a Trinity: three divine persons united in one essence and united in Their loving relationships with Each Other.

Q: How Can I Discover My Place in Ministry?

By Adam Lloyd Johnson, Ph.D.

How can I discover my purpose in the church and community? How do I discover and nurture my talents, gifts, and capabilities?

This question is near and dear to my heart. I’ve gone through this exercise many times in my life. Again, just recently God has been taking me through this terribly important question in order to determine His will for my life. Hopefully I can share with you some things He’s taught me as I’ve struggled through this question.

I’ve always told my children to, first, find out what you are good at and then, second, find out how to use those talents to help other people.

Q: Why Do Christians Still Sin if We Are “Freed from Sin”?

By Adam Lloyd Johnson, Ph.D.

That is a great question. I remember the first time I heard that question; I was in high school in a youth group meeting when another fellow student asked the leader this question. I honestly don’t remember the answer given at the time, but I just remember thinking it was very insightful to ask that.

I mean, it’s true. Jesus said, “If the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed” (John 8:36). We know He’s talking about freedom from sin because just before that in John 8:34 He says that everyone who commits sin is the slave of sin.

Q: How Can I Know God Well?

By Adam Lloyd Johnson, Ph.D.

Lately, I have this feeling that’s been eating me up inside about God. I am a saved Christian who has accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior by faith alone. But just recently I’ve been pondering this: why won’t God interact with me more? Like, if I were to sing a song of praise just in my bedroom or something, I could know He heard me, but I don’t get any special feeling nor does He give me a sign or anything letting me know that He loved my singing or something. Maybe I’m going too much by my feelings, but I just feel like He should be doing things with me.

Q: Did God Test Adam and Eve’s Obedience in the Garden of Eden? Does God Also Test Our Obedience?

By Adam Lloyd Johnson, Ph.D.

Yes, I believe you could say that God tested Adam and Eve’s obedience in the Garden of Eden. The Bible never says it in those exact terms, or at least I’m not aware of any such description, but you certainly get that impression from reading the account in Genesis.

Ultimately, it was a test to see if they would trust God or not. Obedience flows out of a healthy trust in God. He told them not to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. If they trusted God that He knew what was best for them, that He told the truth to them, and that He loved them, then they wouldn’t have disobeyed.